Currently reading: Seat to spin off Cupra as hot sub-brand in 2018
Update: Seat CEO Luca de Meo hints Cupra sub-brand will be officially confirmed at the 2018 Geneva motor show

The confirmation of a Cupra performance sub-brand for Seat is on the cards for the Geneva motor show in March next year.

Speaking to Autocar at the Frankfurt motor showwhere the firm unveiled a new Leon Cupra RSeat boss Luca de Meo remained coy on the topic of a standalone Cupra brand but said: "We will be more precise in Geneva. Talk to us then."

He added: "I think there is potential to develop that domain of the brand. In the past Seat has been one dimensional. Cupra gives us opportunity to have another dimension."

De Meo also commented that it was looking to develop a whole range of Cupra models rather than just offering the Leon, which is currently the only performance-badged Seat. An Ateca Cupra has also been confirmed for production.

When asked about the possibility of a standalone model for Cupra, de Meo simply said: "Step by step."

It was only recently that Seat filed a series of relevant trademarks including  an aggressive-looking Cupra badge not seen before, suggesting more prominence for the sporting offshoot than is currently the case.

Frankfurt motor show 2017 - live report and updates

Seat has also trademarked several names - Tango, Salsa and Bolero - from Seat's past concept cars, which further suggests potential stand-alone status for Cupra-badged models. The names were previously used for sporty concepts in three different segments. 

The Salsa concept, revealed in 2000, bore more than a passing resemblance to a sporty Leon and previewed the then next-generation version of the hatchback. The Bolero took the shape of a muscular sports saloon, with discreet rear doors giving a more coupé-like profile.

Taking the form of a small, taut convertible, the Tango, which was revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in 2001, received wide acclaim and was pitched as a rival to the Mazda MX-5.

However, none of the three concepts reached production.

If the Tango reaches production in its original convertible bodystyle, it would be the first drop-top car the Spanish manufacturer has produced and would sit as a halo model to the Seat and Cupra brands. 

Seat played down the prominence of the trademarks at the time, issuing the following statement: "Seat is continuously registering possible names for future models or projects. This is a customary process not only for Seat but also for other automotive and consumer goods brands.

"The names Seat registers are not necessarily for specific future models, but also names that we like and we would like to have in the reserve. We have many names registered just in case."


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Spanner 13 September 2017

Hilarious really

That SEAT issues a major announcement and it makes such an impact on the motoring public that the discussion of this new sporting brand focuses on the correct spelling of the name! Hilarious. SEAT, I think you need to take note of this and the excitement generated by the new brand. Might save you a few quid. 

finecitytom 11 August 2017

Autocar House Style

Hi Kris,

What does the house style say about the word stillborn? I don't think it's too PC to suggest that it should be dropped from use. Rather a throwaway use of a word primarily associated with something we all, hopefully,  wish were rarer than it is.


simonali 11 August 2017

Yeah, but...

...if you go to they refer to themselves and their vehicles as Fiat. SEAT do not.

Also if we're gonna be really pedantic, should we not be shortening Volkswagen to Vw? It is, after all, one word, not two.